I had this rather long post on freethinking, but my bimonthly battle with WordPress ended up eating the stupid thing. I’ll try to repost it. I hate writing things twice… I also hate editing, hence my total failure as a writer.
Matthew Lee got me to thinking (a rare event these days)… what is the underlying cause of becoming a freethinker? What causes someone to turn their back on their traditions, culture, etc in the pursuit of rationality? Is it genetic? Is it choice? Or is it behavior?
Of course, it’s all three… plus the society in which he lives.
OK, that concludes this post…
Genetics – to be a freethinker, one must be able to think. This skill is very difficult to teach and (in my experience) learned on your own. Of course, that’s the best way to learn anything, if you’re willing to put forth the effort to do so. Genetics plays a role in determining how easy this will be for you. Is your brain wired to think rationally?
Choice – here’s the big part. OK, you can think, congratulations. Are you willing to turn you back on everything you grew up with? I think that must be a requirement, because most of us are raised to be religious and to be a freethinker, you (IMO) must turn your back on religion.
Behavior – a minor, but important part. A freethinker functions in the world differently… in our world, it hurts. It drives me nuts to see ads about the ancient Japanese device that removes body toxins through the feet. <shudder>
Society – your society must allow you to become a freethinker. Most societies don’t like people to think. They prefer that people are sheep and easily led.